College to consider using increased masters’ fee revenue on health services

The TCDSU proposal will be decided on by relevant College committees this month.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has been in negotiations with College to use revenue from the proposed masters’ fee increase to improve College counselling and health services. 

TCDSU President László Molnárfi told Trinity News that “progress is being made” in negotiations with College management over the controversial proposed fee increases.

The proposal was submitted by the union to the board following “a change in attitude from management when it comes to listening to student voices,” according to Molnárfi

The union expects the funding to be spent on improving the waiting times for appointments and understaffing of these two services which he described as “invaluable to both staff and students.”  

Molnárfi said that “This represents a step forward in the way in which the university interacts with its student stakeholders.”  

“It has been a long-standing problem that fee increases were neither negotiated nor expenditure detailed and agreed on with the Students’ Union,” he continued. 

According to Molnárfi, “relevant College committees” including the Board and the Financial Committee, will make a decision on the proposal this month.  

According to Molnárfi, TCDSU has also “been assured” that “54 courses will have their fees frozen, and seven courses will have their fees decreased.” 

Molnárfi also called on Higher Education Minister Patrick O’Donovan to take action, saying he “is ultimately responsible for the chronic underfunding of higher education to provide adequate resources to support our higher-education institutions, students and academic and professional workers”.

The union previously protested against the proposed 2.3% increase to masters’ fees along with a 10% increase for certain masters’ programmes and non-EU courses for the 2025/2026 academic year.

Molnárfi issued an email to Provost Linda Doyle last week demanding College rescind the proposed fee increase or else the union would take action “seriously damaging to the reputation and finances of the university”.

Doyle then sent an email to the College body on April 29 warning against action that could harm the reputation or finances of Trinity.

TCDSU then staged a protest outside the Book of Kells on April 30, which was followed by a €214,000 bill from College for “partial” financial losses incurred from that protest and previous “disruptive protests”.

TCDSU has said they have no intention of paying this fine and will be meeting with College in the coming days to discuss the issue.

This fee proposal from the union follows the end of an encampment led by TCDSU and Trinity Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (TCD BDS) that saw College agree to a plan of action to begin divesting from its ties to Israeli institutions.

Ruby Topalian

Ruby Topalian is a Senior Freshman, Dual BA student of Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures. She is the current Features Editor of Trinity News, having previously worked as Deputy Societies Editor.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor